The Quickest, Easiest & Cutest Christmas Ornaments I’ve Ever Made!

 

Being Human I Have a Few Weaknesses

Shiny objects, cute puppies, cinnamon rolls, buffalo plaid, pretty fabric and, of course, anything Christmas, just name a few.

 

Christmas Tree Ornament

 

Another weakness (as the title of my site would suggest) is quilting and sewing however, the specific pattern or design that is making me swoon these days is the pinwheel pattern.

The minute I felt like I had mastered the techniques of sewing squares together I decided to bite the bullet and give making a quilt top using the pinwheel design a go.

As beginning quilting or quilt piecing goes, triangles and pinwheels are not typically anywhere on any list of quilting and sewing techniques suggested for a beginner – like me. But how can one resist? The pattern has such a fun and playful appearance and the potential color combinations is, if nothing else, inspiring. With all that going in its favor what is all the fuss? Piecing all those triangles can’t be that difficult!

 

Pinwheel Quilt Tops

 

Turns out it kinda is and there were a few tips and techniques I should have mastered first

 

My first two “finished is better than perfect” pinwheel quilt
tops shown above were actually not that difficult to make.

A closer look however, reveals what is difficult – getting every
point to perfectly match up with an adjacent point or corner.

But all that fuss is for another day.

 

Today, I want to show you a super quick and easy way to create a fabric ornament into the shape of a 3-dimensional pinwheel.

These can be used on a tree, to embellish a gift bag or applique onto a pillow. This is a design that with just a change of colors or design motif can be adapted to any season of the year!

A project like this is also a great way to use up those fabric scraps or remnants from a precut bundle. For these ornaments I’m using left over fabric from last year called “A Moose for Christmas” – a fabric line by Cheryl Haynes for Benartex fabrics.

This particular fabric line may not be available in your local fabric store but it can still be purchased here.

 

Let’s Get Started!

 

For each pinwheel you need

  • (2) 5″ squares of fabric – (1) print and (1) contrasting solid.
  • Sewing machine
  • Scissors
  • Iron and ironing surface
  • Air soluble marking pen
  • Button or other sew-on embellishment
  • Needle and thread

 

Preparing the Square

Part 1

Stitching & Turning Fabric Square

  • Place each fabric square with right sides together.
  • Stitch around the entire perimeter of the square leaving about a 1 1/2″ opening for turning.
  • Clip the corners and turn right side out.

NOTE : The opening shown in the 3rd image above is almost too small. I was able to turn the square right side out but it was a bit difficult. Don’t be afraid to make the opening closer to 2 or 2 1/2″ – closing it later will still be very quick and easy.

 

Part 2

Marking Fabric Squares

Use a long thin object with blunt end (chop stick, paint brush) to push out the corners and smooth the edges then press flat.

Turn the square so the solid side is face up and mark a 1 1/2″ line from each of the four corners toward the center.

Once marked, take a sharp pair of scissors and cut on each of the four lines from the corners you just marked.

 

Making the Pinwheel

Part 1

Sewing 1/4' Around Fabric Square

At the sewing machine, stitch 1/4″ from every open edge.

It’s a little tricky sewing around each of the cut lines but using a 1/4″ presser foot with a metal “fence” is a perfect guide.

If the points are somewhat ragged or uneven this is a good time to once again use your sharp scissors and just trim off any excess you don’t want showing.

 

Part 2

Folding Fabric Squares

Next, fold up every other point toward the center. A small drop of glue can be used here or – you can do as I did – fold up one corner at a time and secure with a stitch until all four corners are folded.

 

Finishing the Pinwheel Ornament

Finished Pinwheel Ornaments

Stitch a button or other embellishment in the center. This gives the ornament a nice finished appearance and hides the tips of the folded corners.

 

Other finishing touches:
  • Stitch a small loop on the back to thread an ornament hanger.
  • Stitch a larger loop to be used as a hanger.
  • Stitch or pin onto a long piece of jute or ribbon for use as a garland

 

If you have already tried this technique or if this is entirely new and you want to give it a try please include a picture of your creation in the comments below. 🙂

 

Pinwheel Christmas Ornaments

UPDATE:  New images showing how these Pinwheel Ornaments look when placed on two of my indoor Christmas trees.  

8 thoughts on “The Quickest, Easiest & Cutest Christmas Ornaments I’ve Ever Made!

  1. zuchii says:

    Quite timely piece, The christmas buzz is all around town again and decorations are flying all around homes; indoors and outdoors. The pinwheel is quite straightforward but i dont think its easy for a first timer like myself. 

    Question; what are some of the decoration ideas where a pinwheel can be used effectively.

    • Susan says:

      Hi Zuchii,

      Thank you so much for your comment!  These ornaments are deceptively easy – easier than you think!

      I have several of them on one of my smaller trees.  I’m also thinking about attaching a few to a burlap ribbon and hang like garland over my fireplace or use on another tree.

      Over the next couple of days I’ll be updating that post with additional pictures.  Check back later and see if I’ve better answered your question!

  2. Babsie Wagner says:

    Our list of favorite things is not too far off, my friend, and Christmas is at the top of my list.  I also love quilting.  My sister and I spent literally years of our lives together back in the day before our children were born, quilting blankets and hangings and anything else we could do.  We would sit at the corner of the table, her on one side and me on the other, with our machines humming, and work on our projects together.  It is a memory I fondly recall frequently now that I have the time again to get back into this passion.

    These pinwheel ornaments are so gorgeous and easy.  I can’t tell you how happy I am to have come across your website.  I don’t think my sister is quilting again, her youngest is still in high school, so she’s still immersed in the hustle bustle of child-rearing.  I’m going to tell her about your site, anyway.  Perhaps in a few years, when her daughter is off to college, she’ll want to once again join me at the corner of my table.  <3

    • Susan says:

      Hi Babsie,

      It is such a joy to read comments from a fellow quilter!  I also enjoyed reading your recount of days spent sewing with your sister – so sweet!

      Like your sister I had to wait until my girls were grown and on their own before returning to the sewing / quilting scene and I do hope when your sister’s responsibilities allow she will once again return to your quilting table!

  3. MONDOS says:

    Wow! I like the wordings of your article, the way you put “the easiest and the quickest way”… From the point of people who had never experienced creating this kinds of ornament, it may be quick but would not be easy do that. The good news is, you have laid out step-by-step doing in your article which first timer can easily follow. I will definitely share it with my wife to look through that. She does handmade ornament. Great article. Paul.

    • Susan says:

      Hi Paul,

      Thank yo so much for your comment!  

      I suppose the term “quickest and easiest” is basically a matter of perspective.  After finishing my last quilt, “Woodland Critters”, just about anything – even building a skyscraper would seem “quick and easy”!

  4. Maria says:

    Lovely, just lovely. I liked to much your pinwheel as an ornament for the Christmas tree. I would like to learn to use the sewing machine. I have one, very good. Years before I made several things for my daughter. Things like that are good and useful. I think the pinwheel can be use as ornament some where else, don’t you think? I bookmarked your site for your future posts 😉

    • Susan says:

      Thank you Maria for your sweet comment!  

      And yes the pinwheel design could be used for many other things – I can see it as a sewn on embellishment on a pillow or as an applique on a quilt block.

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